Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Motion Sickness

I am excited every time I pack my bags, whether I travel alone or with some other people. But along with the excitement is my bout with motion sickness.

When I was in elementary, I feel nauseated even in a 30-minute jeepney ride. When I travelled by bus, vomiting was a normal thing for me. I pitied those who unfortunate souls who happened to sit near me. When I rode a boat to Mindanao, I brought along with me a plastic bag. It’s not easy for me. I puked in the boat. I threw up again in the bus.

When I was already working, there was this instance when we had to do cash count inside a vessel plying between Iligan and Siquijor. I couldn’t control myself and vomited outside the boat’s window. The captain offered coffee to ease the feeling. I did not show any sign of fear or embarrassment. I heard that another colleague of mine also vomited when he conducted cash count in another vessel. After the job’s done, I went to my assigned cot and slept for more than 15 hours, until we reached the Cebu port.

When I rode a non-aircon bus from Dumaguete to Mabinay, the winding roads caused some discomfort. I stopped the bus a few meters away from my intended destination, just to escape from the eyes of many people. A few seconds after the bus moved away, I turned my back and vomited. Then I walked towards a carenderia to buy coffee, as if nothing happened. Hard life!

But I had my triumphs. For one, the long trip from Davao to Cagayan via Buda. Then the many bus rides from Cebu to Bacolod via San Carlos and vice versa.

I thought I had fully overcome motion sickness until my recent trip to Ormoc. It was calm when Supercat left the Cebu port. But after 30 minutes of the supposed 2 and a half hour trip, strong waves rocked the boat. I heard cursing from elder people, wails from little children, and a lullaby from a mother who wanted to comfort her crying child.

Some suggested that we turn back. There was one who shouted that he’d punch the captain if he won’t reduce speed. I tried to comfort myself as if I was enjoying the waves. But I felt nauseated after seeing some people vomit. Then there was this smell of white flower liniment which for me, did not help relieve the feeling. I tried to close my eyes. I knew that I had to ask for a plastic bag, but there was no steward near. I tried to deflect the feeling by imagining my brain and trying to locate the nerve that caused the nausea. Then I fell asleep.

We arrived at Ormoc 30 minutes beyond schedule. I felt fine when I stepped outside Supercat. We took our breakfast before we proceeded to Tacloban. The hot soup somewhat relieved my stomach. But I can still imagine the sight of my own vomit.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Or so I thought.

Nobody poked a knife or a gun at me. But I felt robbed when the ATM did not dispense the amount I withdrew. This was my first time to experience such. It happened three Monday evenings ago at a machine at UN Avenue. The amount was debited from my account, but I got nothing. I checked the machine for some gadgets pranks might have placed to rob unsuspecting victims, similar to those modus operandi type shown on TV. I found none.

I immediately called the number listed in the sticker. “This must have happened here many times?” I thought. I was expecting a pleasant voice at the end of the line but I was disappointed. It seems like they’re not expecting any calls. The sleepy and hoarse male voice told me to refer my concerns to my bank which is in Cebu. “This could not be the process.” I thought. But I kept my calm. The next day, I asked a colleague to call our bank in Cebu. As expected, I was instructed to visit the branch where I made the withdrawal. Since I was in another city in the Metro, I decided the visit the site the day after. But to my dismay, there was no branch coz it was an offsite ATM. I called the other number found on the sticker but they don’t know how to handle my complaints. I was given another number: This time to their ATM Center.

The lady at the other end is quite accommodating. Sometimes, it feels good to hear a pleasant voice on the phone when you feel that your complaints fell on deaf ears. She took my name and some details of the transaction. She said that it would take at least five banking days before the amount would be credited back to my account. She also gave me her name and a number to follow-up, which I noticed was the same number listed on the sticker.

I tried calling that number to make a follow-up and asked for the lady but they told me they don’t know anyone of that name. Again, they referred me to another number. My patience almost ran out. “Ok, I’ll wait for 5 working days”, I thought. I never made a follow up again.

5, 6, 7, 10 working days lapsed so I checked my account thru Bancnet’s website. Still there was nothing credited to my account. Feeling hopeless, I said to myself that I’ll just consider it as my gift to one of RP’s 5 largest bank. But to my surprise, when I checked my account yesterday, the money was already there in my account. That is 13 days after I complained.

Thank you, Bank. I hope you improve your services one of these days.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Library: A Love Story

Tales of my Father - Part 5

The week that passed had been stressful to Boy. The father of his girlfriend, a policeman, confronted him and demanded that he break up with her, or else, something bad will happen to him. He willingly obliged. But the girl was so fatalistic that she attempted to jump off at the 4th floor of the school building. She said that she’d rather die than live without him. The father relented though, and pleaded Boy to reconsider. But he was no longer interested in her. Though, he succeeded in convincing her not to end her life with no promise in return. He simply fell out of love for her.

For the first time after many months, he entered the school’s library. He heard his classmates brag about the new girl working at the library. He got curious. After the break-up, he was searching for a deeper meaning of love and a lasting relationship. There she saw a girl that he thought he can only see in his dreams. She had a fair white skin, long brown hair that glitters in the light, and an infectious smile that tells him to come in.

At that moment he was speechless. He felt something weird. Something like he’d been hit by Cupid’s arrows. “Who is this girl?” he thought. She’s a working student from the college department, while he's a graduating 4th year high school student

The girl in the library may not have noticed him. His dark, thin, 5’7” frame failed to steal her attention. She thought that he was just another fellow trying to lure her. There was this other guy who showed her his car keys, and kept asking for a date. But she flatly refused the braggart.

Now, Boy did what he does best: Talk his way to her. But she was not easily convinced though.

For many days he came to the library just to see her. And many times he was reprimanded by the Librarian due to his loud voice and laughter. He strongly believed in Amor Vincit Omnia. He knows that there is nothing in him that could buy her love. He came from a poor family. He supported himself by working full-time and studying part-time. She, he later knew, though with a Chinese maternal grandmother and a Spanish mestizo grandfather at both sides, did not come from an affluent family. There was no heaven and hell to bridge, nor oil and water to mix. It’s only a coffee and milk mixture due to the colors of their skin. He adored her, while she enjoys his sense of humor. But she told him that "if you're really interested in me, go visit me at home and ask permission from my Manong."

So one day, he decided to visit her home. He was also ready to tell her brother that he intended to marry her, because he knew deep within his heart that she is the one for him. In those days, courtship is not a lengthy process. And when you visit a girl in their home, it is a sign that you intend to marry her.

Her brother, a black belt in judo karate, and with a very muscular frame, did not scare him. The conversation went well with the guys. She was happy for his courage and his pure intentions. She decided that he is the man for her.

On December 21, 1974, at age 20, at the altar of marriage, Boy vowed to love her through thick and thin, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, now and forevermore.

Parts 1-4

Friday, January 19, 2007


I was tagged by Wil last week. So, here are the 10 things I would never do.

1. I’d NEVER abandon my faith in God.
2. I’d NEVER disrespect my family.
3. I’d NEVER be an infidel.
4. I’d NEVER take my love ones for granted.
5. I’d NEVER take advantage of my friends.
6. I’d NEVER go scuba diving.
7. I’d NEVER vote for GMA again.
8. I’d NEVER get drunk.
9. I’d NEVER smoke.
10. I’d NEVER read Harry Potter (I’d only watch the movies)

I’d skip the explanations. God, give me the strength.

* - If anyone else is interested in this meme, consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Untitled Poem

As I was checking my poems folder in my laptop, I came across this untitled poem which I wrote sometime in March 2002. I recalled the circumstances and I can't help but smile. So much for the hopeless romantic in me.

-- -- --

Today, I woke up in a colorless world,
Not knowing what hit me in my dream.
Last night you said goodbye to me
And I can’t still believe you slipped
Away from my grasp.

What is love when it’s not forever?
I treasured us dearly so much,
That though you said you let me go,
I held on with high hopes
And kept my head above the water.

My heart beats slowly now,
Waiting and crying out for your name,
Shedding the last tears from my eyes
And still, I am panting for air

As I cry out aloud, “ Ï love you my dear!”.

-- -- --

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Love and Hopeless Romantics

Someone who disguised himself as Antonio Gramsci wrote this about me in our college yearbook:

“… is a hopeless romantic. He sees through everything and composes verses in his mind. He talks about the great passions and immersed in them. He is a poet mincing words, evoking feelings, hiding himself…”

A hopeless romatic? It was not because there was an object of beauty that I desired, but because I believe in the ideals of perfect love. Along with it is the perfect timing, the perfect person, at the perfect place. So I just kept to myself the identity of my crushes and made understatements in uttering my admiration.

When asked the question: When are you going to have a girlfriend? My usual reply: In the right time. But at the back of my head, I feared that the right time had already happened, and I let it slip away. I don’t want to undergo the pain of rejection, or being forced to love someone who first loved me. So I waited.

Someone said that one of the mistakes of young men is that they I idolized love too much. Perhaps, there is some truth to it.

Then the right time came, and the right person suddenly appeared in my life (though she was there since we were kids). From friends to lovers, we became. I learned that perfect love is when you accept the imperfection, and love him or her just the same. The perfect timing happens every time you show love and care.

p.s. It will be Valentine's Day a month from now.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


It was summer of 1994 that I first set foot in Manila.

It was unplanned, at least for me. My dad wanted to schedule for an interview at the US Embassy, while I was on my way to school to enroll for my last year in college. I asked him if I could go with him. He agreed. So I hurried to school and used all my connections just to get enrolled within an hour. The boat, MV Mabuhay 1, was scheduled to leave at 12noon. We both had no tickets.

While inside the boat, I was observing almost anyone and anything near me. This I noticed: Upon departure, everyone spoke Cebuano. When the boat was about to dock at the Manila port, almost everyone spoke Tagalog. I was also tempted to do just the same.

After my dad’s unsuccessful attempt for a US Visa, we roamed around Metro Manila. I was hoping to bump into, or at least get a glimpse of some celebrities, but was disappointed. The first time I saw the tall buildings in Makati, I was really amazed. But I never imagined myself working in any of the offices there.

After that short visit, I pondered upon my future destination: Manila or Cebu? But I remained undecided and assured myself, “God is with me wherever I’ll go.”

A year and a half forward and I passed the CPA board. When I applied at the local PW office, the Partner asked me if I was willing to be assigned in any of their offices. Without hesitation I said ‘yes’. But there was a feeling of relief when he said that I’ll be assigned in Cebu.

From then on, I got the opportunity to travel to Manila twice or thrice a year. The longest of my stay was a 3-week audit assignment at a popular restaurant at Glorietta in 2001. At that time, there were changes in the organization. We heard that senior associates will be assigned for a year in Makati. I quit and transferred to another company before that took place. But in my mind, I had plans A, B and C.

Why not Manila? The lure for the vast job opportunities in Manila is just so tempting. Had I pursued any of my plan A-C, it would be difficult for me to return to Cebu. Some of my classmates who ventured into this large city were all successful in their field, but some still longed for Cebu.

Last night, as the Cebu Pacific plane took off from the Manila domestic airport, I took a look at the city from the plane’s window. Manila is huge and beautiful but this could never be my home. Someone is waiting for me in Cebu.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I just love the taste of their coffee!

But since 2001, when I first tasted their café mocha in a Makati (Greenbelt) branch, I’ve drank maybe just around 10 cups. And half of those happened when I was in Makati.

There are currently 3 Starbucks branches here in Cebu. They opened a new one at the IT park but I haven’t been there yet. I can count the number of times I’ve been to the other 2 branches; 4 times in Ayala, and once in SM.

Poor me! I love the coffee but… A friend of mine (whom I considered as a Henry Sy in the making) once said that the price is just insane. Yeah, really insane, and no different from the other foreign-owned coffee shops! But last Sunday, I asked my wife that we go out to Starbucks. “It’s expensive!” she exclaimed. “Are you sure?” I let out a grin. “Yeah, I miss Starbucks!”. She smiled in return and said "Me too."

Friday, January 05, 2007


"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." ~ Charles Mingus

“…Success will come from simplicity.”~ Sergey Brin - Co-founder, Google

I’d like to keep this blog as simple as it is. Perhaps, I’ll post a few pics. But I’ll try without the sophistication of the many tempting add-ons on the side bar. I think I’ve placed enough here already.

I won’t even attempt Adsense. The pop-ups annoy me, and perhaps even for some readers. That is also the reason why I dislike friendster. But I kept my friendster account for some reason.

What about the color? Why green? I had blogs colored orange and blue. But I really like this one. It looks cool to the eyes.

I’d also like my 2007 to be simple. Life is really complicated when we just let it flow as it is. But with God’s help, we can make it simple. I’d focus on fewer goals and break down problems to its simplest form when I encounter one.

Ah, simple life! Shouldn’t we desire it?